• ‘Temba is our leader’

    National convener of selectors Victor Mpitsang says Temba Bavuma will captain the Proteas at the T20 World Cup.

    Bavuma was ruled out of the Proteas’ current tour of England with an elbow injury but is expected to be fit for the global showpiece in Australia in October and November.

    With the likes of Reeza Hendricks and Rilee Rossouw having impressed for the Proteas in the shortest form of the game in Bavuma’s absence, some have questioned whether South Africa’s white-ball captain can justify a place in the T20I team.

    Over the past two years, Bavuma has scored 363 runs in 20 T20Is, at an average of 21.35 and a strike rate of 113.43 (the lowest strike rate of all Proteas batsmen in this period).

    However, he still has the backing of the man that matters.

    “Temba is our leader,” Mpitsang told Rapport newspaper when asked about Bavuma’s place in the T20I side.

    He explained that they had started to look at team selections differently – especially when it comes to the batting line-up – since last year’s T20 World Cup in the UAE.

    “One problem we had was that there were a lot of top-order batsmen, but few middle-order batsmen,” Mpitsang said.

    “A big focus was looking at that – players with specific roles. How you start the innings, how you start when batting at No 5 and No 6, and how you finish are totally different.

    “We have now seen its value in the series against the English and Irish.”

    OPINION: Bavuma a T20 liability for Proteas

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    Simon Borchardt